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I’m so Pretty

Recently I was listening to “Betcha Gon’ Know” by Mariah Carey. It was the version that features R. Kelly. It made me think about how R. Kelly is now known for abusing women and how many were pushing for the mute R. Kelly movement, among other celebrities that are outed as abusers or pedophiles. I see why people want to shame these people and want to take away their star power. However, there are abusers all around us. There’s millions probably billions of people that abuse other people but we are only aware of the cases that make the headlines, nationally or locally. If we knew what literally everyone was up to in their spare time no one would be allowed to do anything in the court of public opinion. It seems that we have entered a new era in history. Pedophilia and abuse against women in general is taken more seriously in some ways. Despite the “anything goes” culture, the “consent” culture, there seems to be thirst to know the truth even about our supposed heroes or favorite celebrities. I cannot emphasize enough though that it shouldn’t surprise you that the World is busy being the World. That is, if you’re a Christ follower.

In Genesis 6:9, the Bible tells us that “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” He [and his immediate family] was the only one selected to survive the Great Flood. Literally, no one else.

As far as God was concerned, the Earth had become a sewer; there was violence everywhere. God took one look and saw how bad it was, everyone corrupt and corrupting—life itself corrupt to the core. Genesis 6:11-12 MSG

Further in Genesis 18, the Bible tells us that Abraham interceded for the town of Sodom. He asked if God would spare the city if fifty righteous people are found and God said he would. However, I think Abraham knew there wasn’t fifty righteous people so he kept bargaining for less. He stops at ten. He asks God if he would spare the city if there are ten righteous people found and God gives His word, “for the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” We read just one chapter later that God did not find ten righteous and only allowed Lot, his wife and two daughters to flee as God rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from Heaven. Out of the four fleeing, three made it to the next town.

Skipping ahead to the book of Daniel, we learn about a young man named Daniel that was trafficked to Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar took over Jerusalem. Daniel became known for maintaining his purity in the midst of the Babylonian culture. Daniel refrained from the foods and drinks they served as to not defile himself. God gave him favor and Daniel was allowed to not partake in the lifestyle. Daniel continued to see favor throughout his life while living in a different kingdom.

Just as in the times of Noah, Lot and Daniel- these men were counter-cultural. Within their generations and throughout history, their names and stories were written down to be known forever for their righteousness. These are just three examples, but three out of the billions of people that have gone to the grave before us and will go after us… THREE stands out to me.

We are living in modern day Babylon or Sodom or Gomorrah. These cities are basically cliché in 2019. But if you are a Bible reader, you need to acknowledge the time in which we live. Our culture is a secular one. Our country didn’t begin that way but as history repeats itself, Secular is what we have turned into. That is why there is so much hostility towards the Christian life. Real Christians standing for Biblical Truth in the Post Modern Culture.

You’re probably wondering when I’m going to explain how I’m so pretty and what that has to do with R. Kelly, historical and biblical references.

[I apologize if you’ve lost interest already. Context is one of my top strengths and I feel compelled to give the context to help lead you from one idea to the next. It’s just how my mind works! ]

While we live in Babylon just as Daniel did, we are called to stand out. We are not to participate in everything that the opposing culture offers. Daniel could have forgot his identity and dismissed his God but he did not. He could have sold out to the dominate culture, a foreign culture. Time and time again God warned his people to not worship other gods or idols. To not become like those around them. In the Old Testament, God very clearly gave those instructions repeatedly. In the New Testament, God gave us his only son to give us the grace that we might finally obey his commands. He allowed Jesus to come to love us by allowing us to see our hearts are knitted together with His. That we see ourselves and others with His gracious loving eyes. We have to distinguish what is the culture permit and what does God command? They should not be the same. We are to pursue Christ and aim to be Holy not assimilate to a culture that rebels and rallies against our God. It can feel uncomfortable but if our eyes are on eternity with Christ, saying no to permissive cultural practices should become easier over time.

Earlier that day I was running errands. I went to a Target for one thing. That one thing was not in the store so I decided to walk around a bit. Dangerous, I know! I walked through the women’s clothing, accessories, bedding, back through the accessories and women’s clothing. I tried on a lot of sunglasses and touched many handbags. I left the store only buying one t-shirt!

As I was driving away, I began to think about how much I desire to buy new clothing and accessories. How much I desire to join in the beauty and fashion trends taking place. How the pull of obtaining more clothes, more accessories, longer lashes, specific nude colored lipstick permeate my mind. I follow a lot of online boutiques on social media so I constantly see the clothes I don’t have and decide very often that I need thirty new tops every month. Social media is now interwoven with ads of all types. These ads are catered specifically for you through algorithms. Its easy to get caught up in striving to look a certain way or follow current trends.

I often feel I need to be prettier. Prettier and prettier. I have to achieve more as far as appearance. I have to improve my appearance. I have to aim to look better than I do today. Its feels like a beating drum…. Prettier….prettier….prettier. A pounding drum.

For men, it could be you feel you need to make more money, improve your wages, get a bigger paycheck. More money…money….money. A pounding drum.

I then wondered what if I replaced that beating drum with the beating drum of God’s love? What if I put that appearance drum on mute. I believe I would hear the pounding drum of God’s fierce love. I Love You. I Love You. I Love You. DEEPER. FIERCER. That sound would be overwhelming and no other sound could replace it once I heard it truly.

It made me think of how I long for a husband. A husband that would take delight in me. That would be excited when I walked into a room. Or if I were doing something like the washing dishes a very mundane activity. My back is towards him as I zone out in the task before me. He, on the other hand, very much intently watching me. Radiating beautiful thoughts towards me.

So, if I take this vision and transplant it on the Lord…

Can I fully grasp how much he loves me already? How much it isn’t about my appearance? The clothes I wear, the makeup trends I choose to follow or reject, my hair style, my weight. When I catch a glimpse of myself in a reflective surface and instantaneously think “ugh,” when I don’t measure up to the standards I decided were important… NONE of these influence God’s love. God has been radiating beautiful thoughts on to me since before he knit me together in my mother’s womb. For every beat of “be prettier,” God beats “I LOVE YOU” louder, “I LOVE YOU DEEPER,” “I LOVE YOU FIERCER”….its a beat more steady and full than our own heartbeat. Its a rhythm with origins in Heaven that God gave us the grace to tune in to.

Havilah Cunnington posted this the other day on her Instagram. I thought it fit perfectly into the revelation I had.

Related Reading:

Sister, Your Worth is Not Found in Your Size

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Breast Feeding, Women

Breast Feeding: I Don’t Get It

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I almost feel there’s no need for a lengthy analysis on this topic as SNL summed it up in two sentences. Now, I don’t know where feminists stand on this topic. I just Googled it and there’s actually, “Scholarly articles for feminists on breastfeeding” and “It’s time for Feminist to stop arguing about breastfeeding.” SMH. Breastfeeding is not a Feminist concern. Breastfeeding takes us back [into the dark ages said every feminist ever]. This is where it gets milky. If one believes in the sanctity of breastfeeding than one cannot truly be a feminist. Breastfeeding, like pregnancy and child birth is of the Highest gifts and talents given to Woman by God. This is where we differ from Man and cannot ever be the same as a man. If your main cry is for Equality, then how can we be equal to man in this capacity? The only way for us to be “equal” to a man is for us to reject this purpose of our bodies and act as if we have no breasts or womb. OR, for a man to somehow become equipped to provide milk from his chest and have equal opportunity to breastfeed and pump milk to be stored for later use (remember Meet the Fockers?) Equality does not mean Sameness. Right now, I’m giving you the same look as Cecily Strong has in that meme.
Pregnancy was stolen by the medical field in the beginning of the 20th century. In 1900, almost all births were home births (less than 5% were in hospitals). Doctors became more educated and viewed midwives as uneducated, indecent and “old world.” The medical field also began to emphasize personal hygiene and cleanliness. The shift from homebirth to hospital began. Another shift in *progress* was the introduction of drugs like morphine and scopolamine. They were given as a cocktail injection (Twilight Sleep) to mothers during labor. Woman struggled with consciousness (duh) and often thrashed around violently often leading to restraints! Despite it’s terrifying side effects, it was all the rage amongst women of the time, feminists and anti- feminists. They agreed on one thing: Painless childbirth was Liberation.
“One of the few American doctors to embrace Twilight Sleep, [Bertha]Van Hoosen became its most prominent medical advocate. She espoused that less awareness meant less birth injury – that scopolamine relaxed the uterus, leading to fewer forceps deliveries. Interestingly, Van Hoosen and other painless childbirth advocates incorporated a very anti-sex mentality with their pro-Twilight Sleep beliefs: “Painless childbirth will eradicate prostitution, abortion, divorce, childlessness, venereal disease, sexual excess in marriage.” Van Hoosen was a firm advocate of using anesthesia to break the link between the brain and the sexual organs. She began used it in her practice. Some women slept through labor; others became hysterical. Van Hoosen developed a canvas crib-like bed, to cage them in.” -supportbirth.com

A notable doctor of the time Dr. Joseph DeLee described childbirth as a “pathological process,” and that childbirth was not normal. By 1939, 50% of all births were conducted in hospitals. By the 1950s, 80% of all births were conducted in hospitals.-midwiferytoday.com

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After World War II, the sale of formula was on the rise and becoming a lucrative business. Breastfeeding appeared to be on its way out. In 1956, La Leche League was formed because breastfeeding rates had plummeted. Seven mothers that attended the same church began talking one day. They realized they had more in common than not. Their concerns about motherhood and the care of their babies and young children became an organized group. They began to offer support to one another and other mothers. I watched this video via Youtube and heard words like, “Natural” “Loving” and “Confidence.” They even wrote a book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. In 1971, they were honored by Princess Grace at an event. She commended them on their work and mission. I couldn’t have written a better story myself. The following is part of their purpose:

“LLL believes that breastfeeding, with its many important physical and psychological advantages, is best for baby and mother and is the ideal way to initiate good parent-child relationships. The loving help and support of the father enables the mother to focus on mothering so that together the parents develop close relationships which strengthen the family and thus the whole fabric of society.
LLL further believes that mothering through breastfeeding deepens a mother’s understanding and acceptance of the responsibilities and rewards of her special role in the family. As a woman grows in mothering she grows as a human being, and every other role she may fill in her lifetime is enriched by the insights and humanity she brings to it from her experiences as a mother.”

I love their purpose because it includes the significant role of the father in the child rearing. It emphasizes that the family unit is the ‘fabric of society.” It acknowledges that a woman has ‘special role in the family.’ They believe that “as a woman grows in mothering she grows as a human being” and that her life is enhanced by the experience of motherhood. Their message is beautifully expressed.

http://www.llli.org

Recently women and celebrities on social media have experienced backlash from viewers often irritated by the images of them breastfeeding their babies. People have complained to store owners and restaurant managers when women have breastfed in public. People have rationalized themselves crazy saying that breastfeeding in public is indecent and inappropriate. Some say its “gross” no matter the time or place. We have become so backwards and upside down as a *civilized* society that we view the most Natural feeding methods as gross and inappropriate. Yet, I eat my Frosted Mini-Wheats with breast-milk from a 1,500 pound 4 legged herbivore that says MOO. Like, I cant even right now. EW.
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http://en.gravatar.com/that1liana

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